The fostering journey continues!

I have two more adorable dogs to show to you. We fostered Puma for 6 weeks and we fostered Melvin for about 2 weeks. They are both now in wonderful homes with families who are showering them with love and attention, and, most importantly: tennis balls.

Puma, a 6 year old Black Lab who is the best fetch player I’ve ever met
Melvin, a sweet 4 year old Golden Retriever who LOVES balls

I have to tell you that both of these dogs were so incredibly cute and sweet and wonderful to have in our home. Finding them good homes was, as always, bittersweet. One side of you wants to keep them forever, but another side wants to keep fostering, so you have to let them go. I know that when I do encounter another “dream dog” of mine that I will adopt, but I think it may take some time.

4 dogs, 4 cats, 3 fish, 1 bird, and 1 bunny.

I have spent the past few days petsitting for my aunt and uncle and they have A LOT of animals. They have what’s included in the title, but also a frog and a salamander.

This week has involved a lot of driving because their house isn’t that close to where I live. I don’t really mind, though, because I do enjoy driving. Even in Atlanta.

I guess the only part I’m a little annoyed at is that I paid for June’s rent, but I haven’t spent but 1 night at my house and we’re already one week into the month. Oh well.

I’m hoping next week is a little more relaxed. I made zero plans, so my goal is to spend that time finalizing my room and meal prepping for the work week.

Speaking of work, that has been going well. They bumped me up to 30 hours because they’ve been delegating more things from the Sales/Operations side to me, in addition to my own area: Administration. I don’t mind; the day goes by faster when I have lots of things to do.

My highlight of this week is spending time with my favorite dog, Cleo. My grandma’s house is so close to my aunt and uncle’s place, so I’ve been seeing her almost daily.

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A Life Update

I have been back in Georgia for almost 3 weeks now. I am pleased to announce that I have found a part-time job in Decatur, GA and a house (with 2 roommates) in West Atlanta. I am also registered for 5 classes (1 is online) for the upcoming Fall Semester.

In these past 3 weeks, I have felt every emotion known to man. The first week was definitely mostly confusion, boredom, and a feeling of a lack of purpose. The most “productive” thing I did during that week was color my hair. I’m pleased with it.

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I spent the second week visiting with friends, apartment hunting, and applying to many a job. Unfortunately, it was also during this second week that I had my first severe panic attack since I was in high school. It’s been years. Allow me to set the scene:

It was Wednesday, May 15th and I decided to see the new movie, The Hustle, in the next town over. I drove the 20 minutes to the theatre and watched the movie. After the movie, when I got back in my car, I thought I might stop by a nail salon and get my toenails painted for the first time in a year. I looked up the closest one and drove to it. I wasn’t sitting in the large massage chair with my feet in the warm water for but 10 minutes when an old but familiar feeling of panic hit me hard. My legs started to shake and my arms went tingly and my chest got tight. I felt myself begin my “chronic hyperventilation” and I couldn’t get a full breath. I did manage to sit through the pedicure, but the drive home was even worse. What was normally a 20 minute drive turned into an hour. I was on video chat with my Omi (my mother’s mother) because she is quite skilled in breathing techniques and exercises; she’s helped me through many a panic attack before. At one point, I had to pull into a gas station because I just couldn’t function. Eventually, I made it home.

It’s been over two weeks since that day and I’ve done my best to continue life like I did before Wednesday happened, but it’s not been easy. I’m trying new coping skills, preventative measures, and I’m really trying to practice new breathing techniques several times a day so my body can get used to them. The newest and most effective breathing technique and explanation for why it works [that I found] can be found here.┬áIt so simple, but has been really effective for me. Two YouTube videos that have also helped me are ones by Conscious Life Hacks and Harmony Restored.

Since AmeriCorps has ended and I have slowly exposed myself to the “real world” again, I have found myself overwhelmed and somewhat lost. Things and events from my past appeared out of nowhere and I am now having to deal with them head-on. It’s been a little scary and totally nerve-wracking; however, I do feel like things are finally looking up once again and I’m ready to tackle what’s next. Updates to come.

Ocracoke, North Carolina

Delta 4 has finally arrived in Ocracoke. What was supposed to be a 6 hour road trip turned into an 11 hour adventure. By the end of our journey, the team was a little on edge and eager to get settled into our new home.

We are staying in 2 houses that are basically right next to each other at the end of a cul-de-sac at the tip of the island.

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This is the best housing we have had thus far. There are 2 houses, 5 bedrooms with beds and furniture, 2 full kitchens, 3 bathrooms- this place is AMAZING. I will say that there is no television, but I can’t really say that we watch television on this team. Additionally, there is no WiFi, but my personal and work phones both have fantastic service and internet signal here, so getting my work done shouldn’t be an issue as long as my hotspot doesn’t give up. Also, there are plenty of little shops and restaurants with accessible WiFi.

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To get here, we had to take a one hour ferry ride. I’m not going to lie, I really don’t like seeing the 15 P or Cargo floating across large bodies of water. Luckily, the wind wasn’t too crazy and it didn’t rock too much.

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One of my corps members thought it would be a good idea to raise up his cookie holding hand to the seagulls. That didn’t go over well.

It was cold, but bearable. As mentioned before, the ferry ride was one hour (actually a little more) and then we drove 20 minutes across Ocracoke island to get to housing.

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We start our first day today with Tracy, our site supervisor. I think the day will mainly consist of getting to know the island and its weather patters. We may review what the plan is for these two weeks, but I doubt we will start any work today.

Wrapping Things Up in Wallace, NC

We have arrived at our last in-field day here in Wallace, North Carolina. My team and I are a little disappointed because we were so hopeful to finish this house, but it’s just too big and needs too much done to it. We simply ran out of time. Another group will be finishing our work next week.

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Thanksgiving was nice. I spent the day with team volunteering in the morning and eating at Golden Corral in the afternoon.

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Between volunteering and Thanksgiving dinner, we ate lunch at a playground and checked out the beach which was only 20 minutes away.

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Today, it is November 24, 2018 and I am sitting in our van at the worksite. I updated our budget sheet and am working on the Project Completion Form. I don’t normally take my paperwork days on days where we work in the field, but it needed to be done aaaaand my right (dominant) wrist has been in a twist for the past week and some change, so any rest I give it is good.

I’ve been texting the owner of the house we are working on to update her and her husband on the progress and it absolutely sucks telling them that we’ve run out of time, but she’s grateful nonetheless. I don’t know how to accept her gratitude. I signed up for this program knowing that I would possibly be sent on disaster. I joined this program to do something that I felt would have an impact on something or someone. I never wanted anything in return. I do what I am doing because this is why I’m here.

It’s a strange thing for me to think about- my reason for being here. I’m here for completely selfless and selfish reasons. I’m willing to give up a comfortable existence for a period of time to help others in whatever way possible with whatever means I have available to me; however, I’m doing this to make myself feel better about my overall existence.

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